Bouchette: Steelers should take whatever they can get for Antonio Brown

AP

Steelers receiver Antonio Brown has said goodbye to Pittsburgh, but the Steelers have yet to say goodbye to Brown. One prominent reporter who covers the team believes they should.

Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, appearing Wednesday morning on PFT Live, argued that the Steelers should take whatever they can get in trade for Brown, accepting the best offer on the table before his $2.5 million roster bonus becomes due on March 17.

Bouchette believes the Steelers should trade Brown, even if the compensation consists of a conditional seventh-round pick in 2020.

It wouldn’t be the first time the Steelers sold low when it comes to a star receiver. In 2010, four years after Santonio Holmes arrived via round one and two years after he became the MVP of Super Bowl XLIII, the Steelers dumped Holmes onto the Jets for a fifth-round draft pick after news emerged of a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.

A sixth-round pick the same year Holmes was traded, Brown is now on the verge of being gone. Given the various distractions and persistent dysfunction with which the Steelers have been dealing in recent months, it makes sense for both sides to get a fresh start.

85 responses to “Bouchette: Steelers should take whatever they can get for Antonio Brown

  1. If everyone would just shut up we wouldn’t have to settle for “whatever we can get”
    He’s worth a 1st rounder but Tomlin, Colbert, and Rooney continue to mis manage this team.

  2. No selling low. The negotiations need to start with a 1st round pick or a quality defensive starter plus a 2nd-5th round pick. If he doesn’t want to play for the team he is contracted to play for, he can sit out and forfeit his salary. The team already has plenty of ammunition to start suspending him at the beginning of the league year. I don’t necessarily want to see the Steelers keep him, but I definitely don’t want them to just toss him out. As is always said here, at least in reference to the players, the team has all the power in this situation and they should be prepared to use it. They signed AB to a monster contract, took care of him as a player, put him in a great position to be where he is at now, they need to recoup solid value on their investment.

  3. In a tough spot because of cap hit and his desire not to stay. They dont have much leverage, selling low on him is different than taking a 7th rounder. Hes a headcase but a great talent, every team would offer a 7th.

  4. Ed and the other beat reporter around town care more about their access to the team than they do asking tough and real questions. Tomlin is the BIGGEST part of the problems in Pittsburgh yet they continually throw shade to him.

    This isn’t a one time disfunction. It has been happening for years. Tomlin should have been let go 5 years ago.

  5. He’s a perfect fit for the Jets. They are missing Mevi$, and are in need of another prima donna to take the back pages away from the Giants.

  6. Let’s keep in mind Ed B. is Mr. Negative all the time when it comes to the Steelers. The smart play is to not do anything. He is under contract for 3 years. Eat the money and keep him on active roster. 84 is only about $$$$… wait until he doesn’t get paid for a few months of the 2019 season – he will show up. Bell can go – his best days are behind him. 84 loves Pittsburgh, he is just mad because Ju JU is the new favorite. Wonder why? 84 is a crying Diva who quit on his team, and Ju Ju is balling out and having fun.

  7. Why do the Steelers even have a team MVP award? That seems inherently divisive and likely to cause problems every year. Wait, forget I said anything.

  8. I disagree. Amari Cooper returned what is now the 27th overall but when the trade happened it was looking more like a high teen or low 20s pick. Either way make sure you get adequate value for AB.

    He will cost them substantial against the cap this year regardless. Ben only has a few years left and AB won’t want to sit out and miss a year of stat building. Keeping him may force a reconciliation. And if AB acts like TO, don’t play him, fine him and as long as Tomlin cleans up how he treats the locker room, keep the players in the loop all the time on the situation, then they should be able to withstand another year with ABs antics. I mean 9 years the guys been on the team and they were able to keep all these stories about AB under wraps until now when he’s starting to act a fool.

    If they don’t get a first rounder, and honestly in my opinion a top 20 pick, I say keep him for another year. Try to work it out but discipline him within the rules if he doesn’t cooperate. And trade him next offseason when trading him would actually provide a cap benefit. I know the cap benefit for next year would be greater to trade him now but for this year, in win now mode, I’d rather AB sit on Pitts bench and cry and moan than make another team better and ultimately take the smaller cap benefit in 2020.

    This trade needs to make the Steelers better, or at least the same, for now. Not the future.

  9. This whole story is perplexing. A couple of years ago he was, by all accounts, a hard worker in the mold of Jerry Rice and Larry Fitzgerald who seemed to really care about getting better and winning. He was paid a big contract as a result. Now the local media homer thinks he should be traded for a box of cracker jacks.

    What the heck happened? Was he faking it all along? Did he check out after getting paid? Did the culture of the locker room rub off on him? This story, on the surface, just doesn’t make sense.

  10. “He’s worth a 1st rounder”

    He’s worth whatever a team will trade for him. Nobody is giving up a 1st rounder for a 31 year old receiver with legal issues that is forcing his way out of town.

  11. What a shame in Pittsburgh, Ben, Bell, Brown and add JuJu and even Conner could’ve been the team to finally knock off the Evil Empire in Boston.

    Nobody knows for sure outside the organization what really is going on there but to me it’s just crazy. You play to win championships. If you don’t like a player or whatever but you can win, why not try to work things out? How many HOF/ Pro Bowl WRs left their team via drama ect and had success? I can think of only one (T.O.) and it wasn’t much. Randy Moss, Santonio Holmes, Chad Johnson, all went down hill. AB84 is leaving a HOF QB! He is also 31 yrs old. He won’t see more then 70 receptions ever again but it’s fine, I have JuJu in my Dynasty league…!!

  12. “No selling low. The negotiations need to start with a 1st round pick or a quality defensive starter plus a 2nd-5th round pick.”

    AHA HA HA HA HAH A HA HA HA HA thanks for the laugh. You’re dreaming if you think any team is going to give up a 1st rounder plus another pick for that head case at the salary he gets. And every day Brown makes it worse with his tweets.

  13. “no team wants what left on his contract”

    This I disagree with. What is left on his contract is extremely reasonable for a #1 WR after Pittsburgh eats all the remaining bonus money. That is probably the biggest selling point in any trade scenario.

    That alone makes him worth at least a 3rd rounder. Teams miss on 3rd round picks all the time. If he doesn’t work out, you can cut him without any dead money hit.

  14. Well, in the sense that they shouldn’t keep him out of spite, I agree. That certainly doesn’t mean they’ll take the first offer they get.
    Or maybe the team (and Bouchette) has gotten wind of a coming suspension and want to move quickly. The March 17 date saves some cash, but the cap impact is negligible. They certainly won’t cut him just to save the 2.5 million and see him sign with the Ravens or Patriots.

  15. For all who saying he’s worth a 1st round pick, look at this way:

    Would a team that needs a WR rather use their 1st rd pick on one thinking he’s going to be really good AND have him under control at reasonable dollars for 5 years or would they trade that pick to get an aging, high-priced diva who will most likely blow your locker room up?

  16. myspaceyourface says:
    February 13, 2019 at 11:12 am
    If everyone would just shut up we wouldn’t have to settle for “whatever we can get”
    He’s worth a 1st rounder but Tomlin, Colbert, and Rooney continue to mis manage this team.

    ———-

    Get real. No team is going to offer a 1st round pick AND pick up $21M in salary for Antonio Brown. The Steelers will be luck to get a team to just take him and his salary off their books for nothing.

  17. “Amari Cooper returned what is now the 27th overall”

    Amari Cooper is also 7 years younger, didn’t have a reputation as a diva and didn’t force his way out of Oakland. Even then a lot of people thought that Dallas overpaid. Steelers fans expecting a 1st back for Brown will be greatly disappointed.

  18. Nope Bouchette is wrong about taking whatever you can get for him. The Steelers have all the power in this situation not Brown because he is signed for 3 more years. Unlike Bell who was unsigned the Steelers have total control over a signed Brown. The Steelers need to make it public that they will not cut or trade Brown in no uncertain terms unless they get what they are asking for him. They need to tell Brown to show up and keep his big mouth shut or they will suspend or have his contract voided out due to conduct detrimental to the team. Its time the Steelers management grew a backbone and lay down the law on Brown. This will accomplish one of two things. One: Teams will gradually up their offers for Brown because they finally took control of the situation. Two: Brown does something so stupid that the Steelers are able to void out his entire contract.

  19. “As is always said here, at least in reference to the players, the team has all the power in this situation and they should be prepared to use it. ”

    You should let Le’Veon Bell know that as he’s signing the line that is dotted on a massive contract with his new team.

    Only the fans that are most heavily imbibing of the Kool Aid believe that holding Brown hostage is a reasonable answer. The team has to to cut their losses and trade him for whatever the best package that they can.

    For an aging star like Brown, you will never get equivalent value back. It is just the reality of the NFL.

  20. Why do the Steelers even have a team MVP award? That seems inherently divisive and likely to cause problems every year. Wait, forget I said anything.

    E always forget everyone of your posts…what’s different this time?

    I say keep him and make him screw up and forfeit his contract…….he loves the money too much.

  21. kulik03 says:
    February 13, 2019 at 11:29 am
    I disagree. Amari Cooper returned what is now the 27th overall but when the trade happened it was looking more like a high teen or low 20s pick. Either way make sure you get adequate value for AB.

    He will cost them substantial against the cap this year regardless. Ben only has a few years left and AB won’t want to sit out and miss a year of stat building. Keeping him may force a reconciliation. And if AB acts like TO, don’t play him, fine him and as long as Tomlin cleans up how he treats the locker room, keep the players in the loop all the time on the situation, then they should be able to withstand another year with ABs antics. I mean 9 years the guys been on the team and they were able to keep all these stories about AB under wraps until now when he’s starting to act a fool.

    If they don’t get a first rounder, and honestly in my opinion a top 20 pick, I say keep him for another year. Try to work it out but discipline him within the rules if he doesn’t cooperate. And trade him next offseason when trading him would actually provide a cap benefit. I know the cap benefit for next year would be greater to trade him now but for this year, in win now mode, I’d rather AB sit on Pitts bench and cry and moan than make another team better and ultimately take the smaller cap benefit in 2020.

    This trade needs to make the Steelers better, or at least the same, for now. Not the future.

    ——

    Ask yourself one question: “What would BB do”? That is what the Steelers should do.

  22. pftcancer says:
    February 13, 2019 at 11:13 am
    He may be a headcase, but he would be an unquestioned number one receiver in Baltimore. I think he would like those conditions.
    ____________________________________

    With Lamar Jackson throwing to him?? He would absolutely LOATHE those conditions. He complains when he gets 15 targets. Let’s see what happens when he gets 3. That would be fun!

  23. The reality is they have all of the power and they have to be prepared to use it. It may not be swift and may not lessen the drama. But they have too much invested to simply do what is easy and what is quick.

    No trade is going to lessen the 21-23 million hit on the cap. AB accepted all of the upfront money and that cant be recouped. What we have now is a player who counts heavy against the books and is signed for three years under contract.

    Lets not forget that Ben requested to be traded as well and nothing happened. Why? Because it didnt make business or football sense for the team. Trading AB doesn’t either.

    Whats the solution? You let time pass and when AB and his team realize they cant push their way out the door, he comes back in with his smile and they work things out. If he doesn’t, you fine him for not reporting. You fine him for every meeting and practice he misses. Its in his contract. He has to abide by the team rules and attend the mandatory practices or he is subject to fine or suspension. If he doesn’t report, he loses every game check pay. So he can play and be paid, or never play for the next three years and never get paid. That is the only choice he has. He loves his lavish lifestyle and also understand his years in the league are numbered. He will come back in and work things out and move forward. Or he can continue to be “underappreciated” at home and not collect pay checks.

  24. 31 years old, 3 years roughly $35mil on his deal.

    … no new money, for a 3rd or 4th round pick, I’d love to see the Pack roll the dice on that.

    Wouldn’t cost anything to cut him if it didn’t work out.

  25. He’s due ~$12M each of the next three years which is a steal for his on-field production. A team will go out on a limb assuming they can tolerate his off-field antics to get a #1 WR. If Amari can fetch a #1, so can AB – Pittsburgh just needs to not mismanage it.

  26. Brown may be good but he has become spoiled with all the stats, commercials and Madden football. He showed his teammates and fans with all his tantrums on the side lines and action before last game, what he has become. throw in the speeding at over 100 in residential area along with fight with wife over a haircut for daughter, he may have lost some interested parties.

  27. Bills have the cap space and a desperate need for a star number one WR. Josh Allen would be happy to throw bombs to AB..Not sure if the coaches or ownership want the drama…

  28. myspaceyourface says:
    February 13, 2019 at 11:12 am
    If everyone would just shut up we wouldn’t have to settle for “whatever we can get”
    He’s worth a 1st rounder but Tomlin, Colbert, and Rooney continue to mis manage this team.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    You can’t evaluate his stats and ignore everything else. He is worth a 2nd under the best case and a 3rd or 4th is more realistic for a very good receiver with a history of doing whatever he wants and some disturbing off-field issues.

  29. I’m guessing a team will be pretty ecstatic to get AB if they have to give up a third-round pick or later.

    He’s a diva. He’s a pain in the butt. But considering what teams are paying for guys like Quincy Enunwa, I would be more than happy to give up a third-round pick for three years of AB at $13M a year.

  30. “They need to tell Brown to show up and keep his big mouth shut or they will suspend or have his contract voided out due to conduct detrimental to the team”

    Yeah good luck with the ensuing grievance. Brown acting out and demanding a trade isn’t valid grounds for a suspension. If he were so inclined, he could become a bigger and bigger distraction without the Steelers being able to do a thing about it beyond trading or cutting him, eitherway he gets the guaranteed money due to him.

  31. “If Amari can fetch a #1, so can AB ”

    Amari Cooper is 24 years old, not 31. He has no known off the field or diva issues. He could play at a high level for another 8 or 9 years. A team will be lucky to get 3 out of Brown while having to deal with his headcase drama.

    The value between the two isn’t remotely similar.

  32. “What’s the value of an aging diva reciever with a big contract??”

    Look no further than Dez Bryant at $1.25 mil.

  33. zeuslizard says:
    February 13, 2019 at 12:18 pm
    Bills have the cap space and a desperate need for a star number one WR. Josh Allen would be happy to throw bombs to AB..Not sure if the coaches or ownership want the drama…

    This is the last guy who we want in Buffalo with a young QB. Imagine the trouble he will cause when he is targeted twice a game? He needs a strong QB presence like Brady, Rodgers or Brees, otherwise he will destroy the team from the inside.

  34. 1phillyphan says:
    February 13, 2019 at 11:42 am
    What a shame in Pittsburgh, Ben, Bell, Brown and add JuJu and even Conner could’ve been the team to finally knock off the Evil Empire in Boston.

    Nobody knows for sure outside the organization what really is going on there but to me it’s just crazy. You play to win championships. If you don’t like a player or whatever but you can win, why not try to work things out? How many HOF/ Pro Bowl WRs left their team via drama ect and had success? I can think of only one (T.O.) and it wasn’t much. Randy Moss, Santonio Holmes, Chad Johnson, all went down hill.
    ———————–
    Umm you realize that Moss set the single season TD record the first year he went to Foxboro after leaving Oakland???

  35. The people who think AB is “worth a 1st round pick” don’t understand NFL economics.

    A trade entitles his new team to AB AND his current onerous contract that no one in their right mind would offer a 30+ headcase diva.

  36. Umm you realize that Moss set the single season TD record the first year he went to Foxboro after leaving Oakland???
    =====

    Moss – 23 tds in 16 games
    Rice – 22 tds in 12 games

  37. It feels like something worse is going to happen with this guy. His behavior and actions have been bizarrely unstable over the past few years. Beyond the ego/diva stuff. His threats against reporters have been weirdly dark in a Hernandezesque kind of way. Not sure what happened with him or why it happened but if I’m Pittsburgh he’s gone no matter what.

  38. For whatever reason Ed Bouchette has beef with ABrown but to say the Steelers need to take whatever they can get for him is stupid. Steelers want adequate compensation not just give the #1 WR away for nothing 🙄

  39. It’s a well known fact that AB loves, craves and by all accounts seeks attention. I believe this is all about Le’veon Bell getting all the attention last year with his holdout and refusal to play for the Steelers last season. That bothered AB that Bell was “stealing his thunder”. Just trade this guy and be done with all the drama ..!

  40. If everyone would just shut up we wouldn’t have to settle for “whatever we can get”
    He’s worth a 1st rounder but Tomlin, Colbert, and Rooney continue to mis manage this team.
    ___________________________________________________________________

    I dont care if its Jerry Rice. You dont trade a 1st rounder for a 31 year old WR who quit on his team. The highest id go is a 3rd.

  41. aarons444 says:
    February 13, 2019 at 12:58 pm
    Umm you realize that Moss set the single season TD record the first year he went to Foxboro after leaving Oakland???
    =====

    Moss – 23 tds in 16 games
    Rice – 22 tds in 12 games

    ——-

    So Moss did indeed have more TDs in a season than Rice. Thanks for the confirmation

  42. Not sure what’s best for the Steelers team-wise, trade Brown NOW and get a 5th round maybe even 3rd round draft pick or keep him 1 more season and discipline the clown if he acts up again in an attempt to make a run in the playoffs then trade him in 2020 ugh hate seeing what 2 bad apples Brown & Bell have done to tarnish this team’s image hopefully both will be gone soon

  43. A vast majority of the analysts and fans, including me, clamoured very loud for Ben to be dumped after his sex assault mess, not long after his helmet less motorcycle riding accident. Rumors of team mates disliking him. His entitlement demeanor on the team, in Southside establishments.

    The cooler heads in the Steelers organizations prevailed and all the terrible ruinous team culture and locker room cancer faded away.

    Brown will be in Black and Gold in September.

  44. So Moss did indeed have more TDs in a season than Rice. Thanks for the confirmation
    =====

    Its obvious which season was more impressive.

    Rice had nearly 2 tds per game, 1/3 more than Moss’ “record breaker”

  45. IMO, the only way this is going to workout is if the Steelers and Brown come to some agreement over his salary. I’m not even sure if scenario can be done with the current rules in place: Since both sides want him out of Pittsburgh, convince AB to renegotiate his inflated salary by dangling a carrot (some ability to control where he plays next, if there are any suitors). Like I said, I don’t know if this is even possible, or how it would work under cap rules. In other words, if it was possible, could the Steelers absorb the cap hit over multiple years? Would the cap hit change? Either way, he needs to go, the Steelers will be better off without the distraction.

  46. Here’s how “the best receiver in football” crashes. From gold to toxic waste in a season. I suppose there will be accusations of blackballing. Understandable since the US Constitution guarantees that an American citizen can work wherever he wants, if he feels like showing up.

  47. This is why teams should move away from these big, long term contracts.
    Too many head cases. 2 years max, if they handle themselves well and produce during their 2 years, consider another.
    Getting on the hook for 4-5 ears is crazy, for both the team and the player.

  48. Maybe the New York Football Giants should trade for Brown and QB Rosen. Adding Brown with Beckham and giving Rosen a chance to throw to these great receivers?

  49. aarons444 says:
    February 13, 2019 at 2:04 pm
    So Moss did indeed have more TDs in a season than Rice. Thanks for the confirmation
    =====

    Its obvious which season was more impressive.

    Rice had nearly 2 tds per game, 1/3 more than Moss’ “record breaker”

    ———-

    They are both “impressive” but in the real world 23 is still more than 22

  50. I don’t understand Steelers fans thinking they have “all the power.” Brown literally quit on the team last year and didn’t suit up for their Week 17 game. He’s sabotaged his relationships on the team. It would be foolish to bring him back into the clubhouse.

  51. They want him to go to an NFC team and if he wants to win a Superbowl, just go to the Saints. If paired with Mike Thomas, the Saints would be UNSTOPPABLE!!!!!!!!

  52. Hate to see the Steelers lose such a huge play-maker, but it might be time to move on. As mentioned in the article; the Steelers parted ways with Holmes and survived. It can also be pointed out how the Patriots moved on from Randy Moss at one time and survived. The thought process should be centered around ‘what’s best for the team and it’s ultimate goal’. With that, Tomlin should be doing some self-evaluation regarding how the whole situation came to this point. Then make the necessary changes to ensure a more disciplined/accountable locker room and see to it that it translates to better results on the field.

  53. I’d trade our 1 and AB for a very high 1.

    AB is still best receiver in football and is in amazing shape.

    He already has 11,000+ yards. He scored 15 tds this year. No matter his antics, he is crazy good.

    Let some team at top not blow it and get a proven player, plus they keep a #1 at 20. Makes sense for all.

  54. All of you comparing him with Cooper can stop. Coop is what young.. and on his first contract. Brown cost around 18 Million right now. So you are trading for a great player but.. getting a devisive diva on the wrong side of 30 with a huge contract. 2nd round pick possibly. No more than that. 1st rounder no way. Not unless the Steelers kick in their 1st round selection.

  55. He isn’t the best receiver in football for the main fact he quit on his teammates! How much of it is Ben? 3rd is the highest anyone should offer. They will probably have to keep him past June 1 to get the cap hit split but teams have done stupid things before.

  56. Ed needs to zip it and be drugged tested! A 7th round pick and Steelers Nation will turn on the entire organization. I assume Rooney isn’t this dumb.

  57. as a Pats fan I think that until recently I would have been thrilled to have AB on the Pats and given up a first rounder (not that there’s any way he’d go to the Pats–this is just hypothetical). But after hearing how much Steelers fans HATE this guy I think differently–you guys think he’s totally irredeemable, right?

  58. If he wants numbers he’s now going to Denver for a swap in first round picks and mayne a little something else one way or the other.

  59. Arizona should make a play for AB. Arizona will have multiple 4th round picks they should offer the 1st pick in the 4th round for him. Arizona needs to add a couple of new WR’s around Josh Rosen, AB would give him a serious go to receiving threat with Christian Kirk going into his 2nd season and Larry Fitz coming back. Trade for AB and draft a big bodied true X receiver like N’Keal Harry or DJ Metcalf. This class is loaded with TE talent as well, cut Gresham and draft a guy like Caleb Wilson out of UCLA in the mid rounds and call it an off-season. That would greatly improve their offensive roster.

  60. Bouchette needs to retire. He led the drumbeat that shoved Holmes out of town for peanuts, making a pot addict (like who isn’t in the NFL?) sound like he was an axe murderer. This awful trade directly cost the Steelers the SB, when on that last drive, they had absolutely no one on the field who could catch the ball. Bouchette loves to make it seem like he’s some advocate of the “steelers culture” whereas we all know those super teams from the 70s were filled with players, who if they played in today’s age of social media, would have been on the front page of the newspaper for their conduct. Bottomline — that 20 million dollar cap hit is an anchor that it going to sink this season if they cut or trade him. If Brown wants to be a baby like Bell, then just suspend him for detrimental conduct. But there is NO way I’m letting him walk to another team without a bounty in return, which it’s apparent is never going to happen. And by bounty, I’m talking about Hershal Walker type bounty.

  61. 1phillyphan says:
    February 13, 2019 at 11:42 am

    How many HOF/ Pro Bowl WRs left their team via drama ect and had success? I can think of only one (T.O.) and it wasn’t much. Randy Moss, Santonio Holmes, Chad Johnson, all went down hill.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________
    Moss had the best season of his career after he left the Vikings, 1493yds and 23TDs and a Super Bowl ring with the Pats, how soon some people forget!

  62. Steve Cunningham says:
    February 14, 2019 at 11:43 am
    1phillyphan says:
    February 13, 2019 at 11:42 am

    How many HOF/ Pro Bowl WRs left their team via drama ect and had success? I can think of only one (T.O.) and it wasn’t much. Randy Moss, Santonio Holmes, Chad Johnson, all went down hill.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________
    Moss had the best season of his career after he left the Vikings, 1493yds and 23TDs and a Super Bowl ring with the Pats, how soon some people forget!
    ~~~~~~~~
    Count me among those that “forget”. I remember 16-0 turning into 18-1. I remember the NY Giants winning the only SB Moss participated in with the Patriots. They were great that year but Moss did not get a ring.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.